Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not everything was black, of course: Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) reached their peak, finishing 2nd - a good team, led by the biggest Bulgarian star of the 70s and one of the best ever Bulgarian players, Hristo Bonev. Akademik (Sofia), 5th at the end, played nice technical football, already on the ascent and becoming team other had to reckon with , although not reaching their peak yet.
Akademik (Sofia) played there first strong season. The 1970s were their best years.
Top left to right: D.Roev – coach, Il, Chalev, L. Goranov, V. Nedelchev, Yul. Ivanov, T. Paunov, Iv. Vasilev, N. Kolev, G. Lyubenov, G. Roev, P. Zafirov – captain, P. Petkov – assistant coach
Bottom: Iv. Tishansky, D. Gologanov, St. Parvanov, M. Goranov, Ml. Vasilev, K. Milanov, L. Lozanov, B. Simov, M. Mikhaylov, Ant. Zhivkov.
Lokomotiv (Sofia), 7th in the final table, played well as well, with strong Atanas ‘Nachko’ Mikhailov , often impossible to stop, and fantastic Rumen Goranov between the posts – now Levski-Spartak realized what they stupidly discarded the previous year, but too late…
Unstoppable Nachko Mikhailov, still young and relatively slim, in one of his typical attacks against Beroe (Stara Zagora). He continued the Lokomotiv’s tradition: to have exceptionally gifted and somewhat egoistic player, who, with extraordinary technical skills, is able alone to beat whatever opposition. After Spiro Debarsky came Nikola Kotkov, and after Kotkov – Mikhailov, and after Mikhailov – Velichkov: one player in every decade, the younger playing along established star at first.

But that was pretty much everything good and the rest was boring… Slavia finished third, but it was hardly memorable team and perhaps this picture against Levski-Spartak is misleading, for it looks better than it was – Tzvetkov strikes a header and Slavia’s goalie Tzolov clears away confidently. Yet… the ball does not seem to be on target. The match ended 1-1. Boring.